Best Exercises for Women

Best Exercises for Women

By Guest Writer Ryan Crawley

Women have all sorts of body types. Your body type and the goal that you have in mind will help determine exactly what kind of workout would be best for you. If you are thin with a high metabolism and would like to put on some muscle mass, your workout would be much different than someone that is overweight and wanting to lose some pounds.

Women tend to have distinctive problem areas, but the problem area varies from woman to woman. The most common are triceps, core, and the gluteus maximus. There are many people out there that have what I like to call “puzzle piece” bodies. The top half of the body does not match the bottom half. Some men have this problem as well, but it is mostly women that have accumulated extra weight on their bottom half. From the waist on up, they appear to be in great shape. However, one glance while they are standing, the problem is noticeable.

Remember, fitness is 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise. If you want to change your body shape, first change what and how much you eat. Don’t think of this as a diet. Think of it as a complete lifestyle change. This is not going to be temporary. This is going to be a permanent change on how you view nutrition. Begin reading labels like your life depends on it. Search for healthy alternatives to what you have been eating.

Bigger Bottom Half

This type is commonly referred to as the pear body shape (I still like the “puzzle piece”). Extra weight is on the hips, legs, and butt. Of course, right away calories need to be burned. Body fat needs to be lowered. You know you have to ramp up your cardio by walking, running, biking, hiking, doing the elliptical, or taking a cardio class. However, don’t only do cardiovascular exercises. Muscle burns calories and fat even while resting.

We want to focus on multi-joint movements. These are compound exercises that are working out more than one muscle group at a time. Involve as many muscles as possible in your workouts and you will get more results in a quicker amount of time. 

Deadlifts, squats, core exercises, bench press, and standing overhead press should be your new best friend. All are compound movements and will increase your strength across the board. It is tough at the beginning to do new exercises with weights. You may not have any experience with weightlifting. Always ask a trainer at the gym or a veteran fitness enthusiast to put you on the right track with your form on these movements.

Olive Oyl

Olive Oyl is of course the female character in the Popeye cartoons. She is a stick figure with no curves. Big Ethel from the Archie comics could be her long lost sister. If you have the same body type, we want to create curves. Adding muscle will change your body completely.

If you are skinny and have a tough time gaining weight, other women would like to kill you. And also, to gain weight, you have to take in more calories than you are burning. To add muscle, you are going to need to take in more protein. Remember that fitness is 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise no matter what the body type.

Compound movements are going to be your bread and butter. Once again, these are multi-joint movements that will be working on more than one muscle group. Get more bang for your buck! Muscle mass needs to be added to the entire body.

Squats, deadlifts, leg curls, bench press, core work, overhead press, and bicep curls should all be part of your workout three to four days a week. The great news is that your cardio will be much less because we don’t want to be burning as many calories. Focus on cardio that will improve your muscle tone on your lower half. The stair stepper for fifteen minutes would be a perfect exercise to build curves from the waist down.

Hourglass Figure

If you have an hourglass body type, why in the world are you wanting to change it? It is the most sought after shape by other women, and certainly the most desirable look that men are searching for in a woman. An hourglass figure means that the bust and the hips are the same size and the waist is well defined. It also means that if you want to change your hourglass figure, it is a crime against humanity. 

An hourglass figure might have a little bit higher of a bodyfat percentage. Trouble areas tend to be the lower stomach and the arms. Core exercises such as planks and crunches should be focused on. Bodyweight movements like pushups, dips, and pullups will be of assistance. Also, bench press and overhead press will work your arms well.

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